Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are Olympic candidates, Amar'e Stoudemire is not.

I'll start by saying I'd rather not see any Knicks in the Olympics. Well, at least not playing basketball. If Jared Jeffries thinks he can medal in the pommel horse or Toney Douglas is still dead-set on making manatee polo a sanctioned sport, that's fine with me. But as much as I like watching a Knicks represent his country and compete at the international level (my all-time favorite being Stephon Marbury on that ill-fated 2004 team), these particular Games will follow a condensed, grueling season-- not to mention a deep run in the playoffs-- and it'd be most reassuring to know that folks are poolside resting their legs are summer. My massively important personal preferences aside, it seems like at least one of the Knicks is going to end up heading to London.

Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler-- both of whom have USA Basketball experience-- were named to the pool of 20 candidates for the 2012 Olympic team's 12-man roster. The coaching staff from 2008's gold medal team, which includes Mike D'Antoni as an assistant, is also expected to return. Both Chandler and Anthony appear to have solid chances of making the final cut, (in June) as Anthony was one of the starters on '08 squad and Chandler's size is a valued asset with the likes of Serge Ibaka and Los Hermanos Gasol looming around the map.

Amar'e Stoudemire, meanwhile, didn't get the call, (and by "call" I mean the bevy of doves that flies in the Olympian's window to present him with a sword, shield, and letter from Mike Krzyzewski) and he's kind of bummed about it:

"It's definitely not my choice,'' Stoudemire said. "I would love to play. My loyalty is with USA Basketball. ... If they need me, I'm there.''

The Knicks likely do not share Amar'e's sentiments. The club held him out of the 2010 World Championships when they acquired him, and they're perpetually conscious of the uninsured five-year contract to which he's signed.

In any event, we at P&T will likely have a vested interest in Olympic basketball for the first time, so that's cool. It does frighten me for Knicks to be exposed to competition that doesn't support MY needs as a basketball fan, (it's just rude, really) but it should be fun nonetheless, and we'll be following the USA team closely.

(Note: In the event that Renaldo Balkman's Puerto Rico team qualifies for the Olympics, that may end up being the official national team of P&T. Sorry, USA. Do y'all think they have a good chance of placing high enough in the wild card tournament?)

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